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Sarah Wittpenn

I really enjoyed this article as I thought it provided overlap with our previous conversations while introducing some ideas from South Korea's development that I will likely be thinking about as we study other countries and their quest for development. While South Korea was a success story and able to go from one of the world's poorest states to a development countries, it is interesting to think about whether their development tactics would work for other countries. The author quoted something about how the timing of South Korea's development may have allowed them to be successful which leads me to wonder if things would have looked different for the country if it was a decade later. For instance, if there were more export led economies at the time would South Korea struggle with the competition and not be as successful. Likewise, if the United States market was less open or Japan had already found a low cost country for production, would things have looked different?

Another question I had was about the Chaebols. It seems that this model of selected business entrepreneurs creating large family owned conglomerates worked for South Korea. It allowed them to focus and grow in other sectors while encouraging competition and preventing monopolies from being developed. I think that these were beneficial to South Korea in brining them closer to development goals; however, I think there was apparent corruption within such systems. These conglomerates felt like they had to work closely with the government and contribute to pro government political campaigns to get favored by regimes while firms in enterprises that were not favored couldn't access credit and thus struggled to grow. I wonder if other countries have tried a system like this in their development journey and how it worked? Likewise, I wonder if there was backlash from citizens about the unequal treatment between government favored conglomerates and those that weren't.

Tyler Waldman

This paper contains many interesting traits that should be discussed. The first is that the author is a historian, as opposed to an economist. Seth’s perspective as a historian adds a great deal of intrigue to the paper and makes it distinctly non-economic. Yes, the paper does discuss the economic development of South Korea and defines growth strategies utilized by the country. However, Seth emphasizes political leadership, the benefits, and the detriments of democratization, along with international politics to explain the reasons why South Korea chose the specific strategies they did. This perspective can be contrasted with an economic analysis of the effects of the policies that were chosen. It’s important to understand why countries decide to use particular strategies to develop because that knowledge gives predictive power for the future. Also, understanding why some strategies are chosen can give insight into their chances for success when employed in other situations.

It is extremely easy to understand this paper in the context of the Solow model of growth. Much of the actions of South Korea’s government were completed to shift the Y=A(K) function upward. This can be seen through educational development, the development of public health, and their emphasis on technological development. An interesting part of this piece was learning about the United States’ role in funding Korea’s development. With US dollars, South Korea was able to focus on shifting the curve upward while not worrying about funding capital deepening. This dependence on FDI was disdained by South Koreans, but economic interdependence between countries is essential for growth and economic efficiency.

My last short point is that South Korea copied many strategies used by Japan to stimulate growth. We talked about how policies must be context-specific to work, but it seems like South Korea’s copying of Japan was successful. Maybe there is a regional aspect to the efficacy of copying other countries’ growth strategies.

Ian Kinney

I thought this reading reaffirmed a lot of what Rodrik wrote in the reading for Monday. South Korea’s growth strategy was unorthodox and made the most of unique opportunities (allegiance with the US, foreign aid, emulation of Japanese success), succeeding in rapid development. Some of the factors that enabled that rapid growth, however, seem to be potential liabilities moving forward - the close and occasionally corrupt relationship between industry and government, the dominance of a handful of companies over a disproportionate share of the economy, etc. It will be interesting to see what strategies the country pursues in the years ahead, in terms of sustaining long-term growth.

I would, however, have liked to have read more about the high inflation and rapidly-growing debt Korea saw during its development. Were there any significant negative effects on development caused by these factors? If not, why is it that they didn’t cause problems?

Tangentially, I wonder if the social disruption of such rapid development, perhaps exacerbated by quality of life indicators lagging behind economic growth, played a role in causing the incredibly low birth rates of the country today (~.8 births per woman). It's certainly interesting that among the commonalities between the "asian tigers" is that they all now have fertility rates far below replacement, even lower than Japan's.

El Ellenz

This article is a strong affirmation of the importance of context-specific analysis and approaches to economic growth, and I particularly appreciated the emphasis on historical contingency as Seth notes the different factors that contributed to South Korea’s economic development such as the smaller number of export-oriented economies. The factor that stood out to me the most, primarily because I had never thought about it before in the context of Korea, was the role of the Vietnam War in providing America as a purchaser of Korean goods and Korean construction services. Did this influence the shift to heavy industry and steel production? What percentage of South Korea’s GDP growth can be attributed to the wartime production for the United States?
Labor movements are a primary historical interest of mine, so I would’ve also liked to read a bit (okay, fine, a lot) more about Korean women’s involvement in unionization and strikes during the 70s and 80s, but understand why Seth doesn’t discuss them in detail given the article’s broad scope. I do find myself wondering about the economic impacts of organized labor’s success achieving higher wages in the late 80s and 90s. Seth states that wages rose faster than productivity which threatened the viability of Korean exports, but also increased domestic purchasing power. Was an increase in demand for domestic consumption due to increased purchasing power enough to offset losses in exports in terms of sustaining economic growth? If so, what specific conditions contributed to the situation working out that way?

Natalie McCaffery

Although the growth of South Korea is referred to as an "economic miracle" the morality of some of the plans in action to achieve their development goals is quite questionable. Surely transitioning through the advancement of education is a good approach, but sterilization of women to effect birth rates...

Anyways, the reliance on and interconnectivity between South Korea and other nations already in an efficient state, such as Japan and the US, was a great export plan that allowed for large markets and capital. I think that this rapid economic development of South Korea is a good study of the social cost of growth. The social cost of SK's growth tapped into health and resource availability (in the form of human capital) in ways many other countries would deem immoral. Yet, under the regime of this government, and at the time, this solution did lead to long-term success.

Patrick Rooney

I found it extremely valuable to read more about South Korea’s development, as I have had many classes in the past touch upon this subject but not go in depth. To start off, I found it interesting that South Koreas rapid economic development in the 1960s was spurred by a military government. Often, it seems that military governments have the sole objective of staying in power, but Park was quite prudent and open-minded in trying to end poverty and creating a sustainable economic plan. This can partially be attributed to Park professionalizing the state bureaucracy with bringing in highly competent officials to guide economic and social policy. It’s interesting to me as South Korea experienced incredible economic growth then democracy followed. Problems with protectionist policies usually arise with not knowing when to ease policy and liberalize trade, but also with what industries to specifically invest in. It’s surprising for me to read about how well-timed South Korea’s shift to a heavy industrial base was, especially with the decision coming from an authoritarian ruler. This success makes me question if South Korea’s growth could have been possible with a democracy, as the authoritarian structure of the state enabled South Korea to make efficient, decisive decisions (in terms of relationships with privately owned businesses, controlling foreign exchange, suppression of labor, and implementation of economic policy). I feel like the agenda of Western countries today stress the importance of instituting democracy first then sustained growth will follow but South Korea clearly didn’t succeed through this blueprint. Also, China’s incredible economic growth was generated through an autocratic regime as well. I think it’s an interesting question to ask of how much the politics within a country plays a role in economic development.

Trip Wright

This article proved to be a fascinating case study of recent economic development that has seen the emergence of an economic powerhouse: almost a rags-to-riches story. I was particularly keen on South Korea's transition from predominately agrarian to a leading industrial and technological hub. It surprised me to realize that most of Japan's investment in the Korean peninsula was focused in the North of the land; one would never know that today.

The plan for development in Korea is unconventional for sure. I staggered at the idea that in the 1950s, the United States' investment in Korea accounted for approximately 80% of all government revenues. That is an enormous about of foreign investment, yet for the U.S. it was about "outdoing" the Soviet Union as the Cold War began to pick up speed and confidence. I'll be honest, I have never thought of economics as having an important historical component. All of the research and study in economics have been focused on the "how" and "why" of tomorrow. I was unaware of South Korea's dependency on the United States' resources and institutions—particularly our education system which helped South Koreans study science, public policy, and economics—following WWII and the Korean War. Further, South Korea further recognized its lack of natural resources and understood that its economy would have to specialize in the production of goods from input/natural resources.

The corrupt relationship between a military government and businessmen proved very interesting for instituting economic growth strategies that actually worked to promote social and economic development. However, I did find some ethically questionable decisions, particularly with an exchange of South Korean troops to aid the American campaign for supply contracts to Korean firms to spur production; I guess that's the result when business and politics are closely tied. For the term project, our group has been assigned Argentina. I know of Argentina's past military dictatorship "el Proceso" and am interested to learn more about its economic history to see if there are any direct comparisons to South Korea's success until military rule.

Jack Lewis

This article provided some much-needed insight into the miraculous growth South Korea experienced in order to become an economic giant, and a member of the OECD. Additionally, it was interesting to see how what we've learned in class was actually applied to South Korea. For example, the growth model that represents GDP per capita as a function of technology and capital. South Korea literally lowered its birth rate which had a positive effect on the model by shifting the function upwards.
I was very impressed with the plan that the Korean government developed. South Korea rolled out its first five-year plan in 1962 which called for an ambitious 7.2% growth rate for the next five years and they crushed the goal. Then, they rolled out the second five-year plan. It appears that South Korea took their growth strategy very seriously by coming up with these plan and forming organizations that would promote research and technological knowledge such as the Korean Institute of Science and Technology. I was surprised to see that having something simple as a five year plan does great benefits for the country from the quote, "Most historians regard the First Five-Year Development Plan to be the point of economic take-off." It leaves me wondering that if countries that seek rapid development must-before any action is taken-develop a detailed plan for the near future. And maybe South Koreans can consult these countries as well.

Josh Fingerhut

This article laid out the history of South Korea's economic development in a clear and concise way. Even still, I found myself perhaps even more confused about what factors bore the most responsibility for the rapid development of South Korea. The article made it clear that the military government was crucial in kickstarting the economy and implementing new policy. Yet as authors such as Sen have pointed out, a lack of democracy generally has the opposite impact on development. It would also seem logical that the generally more collectivist and Confucian culture that predominated South Asia played a big role, particularly in the economic success of these large companies. Yet as the author pointed out, this culture existed in the 1950's when South Korea was poor. Foreign direct investment was clearly important but how much of a boost did post-war aid provide?

With so many factors in play at once, it is impossible to point to one aspect of South Korea's economy as the catalyst for its development. That being said, one thing that stood out was the social "cost" of this development. Labor conditions were often terrible and the environment was often oppressive in company dormitories. In a way, this mirrors much of what I have read about the industrial revolution in the United States. Yes, decreasing birth rates can aid development but this should never be done at the cost of female sterilization (I would have liked the article to elaborate on this in particular). This is again a reminder that development cannot simply be measured through measures such as GDP or GNP. We must look at how daily lifestyles are improving, particularly for the most vulnerable. We must be aware that these inequities are often a side effect of development, but stay resolute that they are not a necessary condition.

Ryan Messick

I thought it was interesting to see that South Korea’s economy was able to flourish as much as it did through near dictatorial involvement. The article mentioned that president park was elected multiple times and eventually even declared martial law in order to carry out his reforms. While it seems that a lot of Park’s reforms were largely beneficial for Korea’s recovery and growth, I’m surprised to see that there was willingness to adhere to policies and not more backlash from citizens.

Additionally, I thought it was interesting that the chaebol system functioned as well as it did since companies not considered to be chaebol received little to no government aid. I think it’s an incredibly risky approach, but the article mentions that they were not allowed to monopolize and that it actually encouraged competition that kept these firms efficient. I think Korean leaders had an interesting foresight of needing to focus on maximizing efficiency in a single entity of a given sector, as I can see how a poor choice of companies to back could have led to massive repercussions.

Chris Ruiz

What makes the development of South Korea particularly interesting is the authoritarian streak that existed at the inception of its prosperous growth. Nationalized banks and military rule, to make an educated guess, are probably not synonymous with spurring profound growth of a country's economy. Maybe South Korea is an anomaly here, or maybe it serves as proof that economies can grow and grow a lot under various systems of government. Further, the discussion of chaebols led me to look into South Korea's gini coefficient. I expected it to be higher, but from what I've read it seems to have sat in the .3-.33 range for quite some time. I took an East Asian Politics class my first year here and gave a presentation about South Korea's candlelight revolution, a massive protest that took place in response to Park Geun-hye (daughter of the military dictator Park responsible for the miracle on the Han) being guilty of abusing her power and partaking in corruption. Park Geun-hye was receiving counsel from Choi Soon-sil, a personal friend of hers whose family amassed considerable wealth as a result of their relationship with Park Geun-hye's family. With this in mind in addition to what I have learned about Chaebols, I would have expected a greater degree of wealth inequality in South Korea. The bit about South Korea investing a lot of money into education coupled with the detail that their efforts in spreading adult literacy were very successful made me think of the conversation about the fact that large education systems do not matter if they are not effective. The effectiveness of South Korea's educational efforts could certainly explain the immense success of their industrial and technology chaebols, companies that are among the world's largest today.

Chadrack Bantange

This article was very enjoyable to read and it is impressive to see that historically, military regimes have caused nothing more than chaos in many newly independent states, but South Korea managing to grow under such a regime is just fascinating. For many low-income countries, being led by a military regime has greatly led to economic stagnation and total chaos since many of these military leaders imposed dictatorship systems and were more concerned about staying in power for a long time rather than fostering economic growth. South Korea growing in such a regime just demonstrate that strong or effective policies are not the sole agents of growth; governments have a crucial role to play.

Although I agree there that are a lot of lessons low-income countries can learn from South Korean growth strategies, I also think some policies used in South Korea might not work in many low-income countries. Yes, these developing countries can invest more in education than they currently do, but what is the point of investing in education if there is not a wide range of jobs graduates can choose from? Many low income-countries go through this; governments can choose to invest in education but as long as the people do not see the benefits of embracing these opportunities, educated-based policies might prove to be ineffective or can take a long time to see its effects in economic growth. About the point of cutting population growth to promote the economy, is that morally acceptable? I think Sen would probably disagree with this because the process of development should not take away people's freedom. Should I give away my freedom of having the number of kids I want to have just to promote economic growth or economic development should instead allow one to become freer and live the life they want

Joe Jackson

While South Korea’s growth is often referred to as an “economic miracle” I would argue that it would not have been possible without a “dictatorial miracle.” What I mean by this is that the Park Chung Hee regime had economic growth for the nation set as its goal and actively ensured that decisions that were being made would benefit South Korea as a whole, not just big businesses, friends of the regime, or foreign interests. Two things that I found very interesting were that Chung Hee made sure to professionalize his bureaucracy with the most educated and experienced people that he could find and would set out very clear guidelines for achievements which would lead to job promotions. Creating an intelligent bureaucracy and using the “carrot” to drive them to improve the nation was a decision that made sure the economic decisions that were being made were in line with the aforementioned goal of bringing prosperity to as much of South Korea as possible.
Along these lines, another thing that I found interesting was how the regime would work with the private sector. After land reform set the stage, Chung Hee seemed to redirect the energy of prominent landowners towards industrialization. Using already smart businessmen and putting significant resources towards them opening and expanding these new industries created a strong industrial foundation to build off later. Furthermore, it was a competitive process to continue receiving state funding. This forced these industries to meet strict goals and expectations for progress with the promise of continued support from the regime. What’s more, these grants were not based on any sort of relationship with the Chung Hee regime, making these decisions based purely on economics and the benefit of South Korea as a whole. None of this is to say that the social repression and censorship that occurred under the Chung Hee regime were justified or that the investments into bureaucracy and industry would not have been possible if not for the military dictatorship. My recommendation to a developing country would be to look at South Korea’s economic miracle but recognize that much of the programs can and should be accomplished without the risk of putting power into one person’s hands.

Kit Lombard

South Korea really was able to accomplish an array of economic achievements in a span of 30 years: education, health, capital, and more factors all increased. Whenever there seemed to be an obstacle such as a financial decline, South Korea’s economy was able to bounce back. I never realized or was taught about the role in which the U.S. influenced South Korea’s growth with consistent positioning as their top trade partner for decades and providing economic advice. I found this interesting considering the nation was under an authoritarian power at the beginning. Although this next point is more historical, this discrepancy in supporting a dictatorship in South Korea versus sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers to Vietnam during the Vietnam War. However, even though America supported South Korea financially for decades, this should not undermine the ROK's ability to grow. After all, there is this repeated call in questioning whether sending financial capital alone is enough to support a nation. South Korea valued education immediately and this allowed the government to have academic resources to understand how to effectively utilize the foreign capital entering the country. Therefore, this brings up the concern about the ability of countries with a heavy brain drain and other limitations on the government’s ability to promote growth.
In contrast to the growth of South Korea, it is important to note the extensive costs that came as a result. I felt the author could have built further at the end of the paper on the consequences. The younger generation of South Korea is tremendously overwhelmed, to the point there is a demand for the young generation to move abroad. With Squid Game and Parasite, the issue of insane housing costs and immense difficulty of social mobility also have been recently acknowledged. South Korea has a high suicide rate among its students, and the uncertainty of employment still leaves even college graduates weary about the ability to be happy. This brings in the final question, development focuses on resources, to what extent should it also focus on happiness and well-being? How successful is a wealthy country if everyone is miserable?

Will Kistler

Reading about South Korea’s economic development was extremely fascinating and I am already seeing many possible connections to look for when working on my group’s final project. Learning about South Korea’s rapid transition from a predominantly agrarian society to an industrialized country with a per capita GDP comparable to much of Western Europe throughout the late 1960s was remarkable. This revolution is particularly impressive when its origins are discussed–the DPRK and the ROK, the large repatriation of Japanese workers after the splitting of the peninsula, and the Korean War.

With that being said, the significant societal changes I saw throughout the paper which seemed to have resulted in the most economic gain were investments in education, the focus on being an export-oriented economy, and direct foreign investment. These are all topics that we have learned from common development theories such as the Lewis two-sector and T.W. Schultz’s “Quality of People” paper. Lastly, one topic I found most thought-provoking in the paper was the discussion of the country’s rising economic development with its falling birth rate. While I do not agree with this program, the applications of this are interesting as we have seen China enact a similar policy/referendum.

Renan Silva

I was very interested in Park Chung Hee when reading the article for today’s discussion. My knowledge on military dictatorships is very limited, mostly being on the South American regimes that occurred mid-20th century. I expected the paper to touch on some negative sides of his government, but the lack of content on it left me eager to dig further onto this historical figure. What I mostly found through some quick research is that there is some controversy on Park Chung Hee in South Korea, but that hardly anyone would argue he was not influential in South Korea’s rise into becoming a developed country. Some argue that his influence was not nearly as great as the American foreign aid, and that the United States was the main driver of South Korea towards power. Nevertheless, Park Chung Hee is seen as one of the greatest representatives of this government when compared to other dictators throughout history. His national pride was the ultimate drive for South Korea’s success, but he was also willing to put his pride aside when necessary; one example being when he decided to improve relations with Japan, their former colonizer.

The economic aspects of the paper also caught my attention. The five-year plans, the investment on education and industrialization, and the duality of desiring foreign aid while also fearing American dependence. However, the biggest takeaway from this article was a sparked interest on Park Chung Hee whom I intend to do more research on.

Eric Bazile

Do the ends justify the means here?

South Korea has made great steps in the name of economic development. Within a few decades, incomes and GDP per capita grew rapidly, ultimately improving the quality of life of South Koreans from poor farmers to educated workers. This growth was ignited by the militaristic regime of Park Chung Hee.

This paper idolizes him for his efforts towards improving the country which I do agree is a hard task. However, I speculate that this paper is not explaining the full story. In general, militaristic leaders tend to abuse power and have totalitarian rule over citizens. If this was similar to Hee’s rule, then it was probably easier to implement policies without resistance. Hee was driven by nationalism and had a great group of advisors, so he happened to craft a beneficial policy. But was this at the cost of totalitarian leadership over his citizens? Or maybe he was a compassionate leader who happened to have control over everything.

Ngoc Le

The paper did a great job in condensing South Korea's economic development factors. However, I still have some questions about the specifics. South Korea's huge corporations, such as Samsung, LG, etc. are well-known for the quality of their products, and I believe that quality is one of the driving factors for them to be able to export their product to the global market, but I'm not entirely sure how their quality got so good, was it because of certain government policies? Or maybe they were able to capture market share thanks better prices? Just wondering about the financial factors or product control factor that lead to their success, and how they got there.
Another thing that I noticed was the importance of the military in politics. The presidents were often military men. I wonder why or how that came about, and if that played a role in South Korea's success.
This paper certainly made me want to do more research into South Korea, it's just fascinating their beautiful culture and success, but also leave me wondering where they are heading. There are obviously a lot of problems accompanying the success, like the reality of their entertainment industry, how competitive their education system is and it's effect on young people, pressure of being successful, etc. There are just a lot to look into, and seeing what's to come in the future.

Cal Christianson

To me, the most interesting aspect of the paper was the fact that South Korean economic development took place under the constant threat of war. It almost occurred out of necessity. The South Korean government needed to make sure the economy was strong as a means of national defense. Even with US foreign aid and military bases in South Korea, the country’s was never secure. The government also had to reinforce a sense of legitimacy among the population, especially since it was not a democratic system. Yet the presence of benign dictators allowed the economy and society to be easily molded in a way that promoted economic growth. The existential threat of North Korea forced the government to act in the best interests of the nation. It also encouraged South Korean citizens to buy into the economic programs, especially the wealthy businessmen who controlled the large conglomerates. This is not to discredit the actual programs and policies that sparked the surge in development. It does however serve as a warning to any country to tries to replicate 100% of South Korean development. As always, the history and context of a country can have just as much impact on development as policies and programs.

vic ndhlovu

This was a very interesting paper. As a result of emulating Japan (and others) it seems like South Korea was able tick off most of the usual boxes o a country's path to MDC status. An interesting take away (for me) was the importance (or lack of) of political systems and they impact the rate of economic growth. A lot of people regard Park Chung Hee's authoritarian but disciplined
and goal-oriented leadership as a key to the country’s economic take-off. This made me wonder how effective the methods implemented by South Korea would be in less authoritarian areas of the world.

Emily Ingram

I thought this paper was very interesting in explaining South Korea's somewhat unusual path of economic development. Park Chung Hee not only used his dictatorial power to improve South Korea's economy through gaining political alliances and promoting nationalistic ideas, but he also was able to collaborate with multiple family-owned businesses to help them contribute to the country's overall economic progress.

I found it particularly interesting how the state provided motivation for these businesses to perform better in the form of receiving loans and funding, and somehow kept a competitive market going while avoiding a monopoly. One would think that the state would favor the more productive industries in their funding, but in South Korea, all family-owned businesses were encouraged to perform well and expand throughout the country.

Lastly, I liked the argument made at the end of the paper about how South Korea's economic development was a "product of a unique set of historical circumstances." This definitely emphasizes what we discussed in class this week about the context-specific nature of growth strategies and how strategies that worked for some countries don't always work for others that try to imitate them.

Andrew Arnold

I think this article was quite interesting for a few reasons. For starters, I liked that it was a historical article because we can use the factual policies and their outcomes to either prove or modify theories within the frameworks of our models. I think it is good that economic theory is largely not important in the article too because it does not then read like wide sweeping policy recommendation. I do think there are broad concepts from South Korea that could be worth looking at in other developing countries. For starters, it is interesting that development came first with more democratic freedoms following. While I do believe in the value of democracy, I think it makes sense to nationalize industry to an extent at the start to spur on growth. I think that way government can also control a more equitable distribution of wages and benefits. It is harder for me though to accept the trade off of some on the moral issues that took place in South Korea related to reproductive rights. Issues like that seem like too high of a price to pay for certain levels of development or at lease the speed of development. I also liked that the article pointed out the external factors that helped South Korea. I think it's important to recognize that not every country is in a similar position of foreign investment or interest. Still, South Korea's level of development today and the rate at which they achieved it is something to take note of. I just think the tradeoffs need to be recognized at the same time too like anything else in economics.

Will Fearey

The two most intriguing sections of this article to me were the discussions surrounding the roles that education and lower birth rates played in South Korea’s economic development. In accordance with our past class discussions, South Korea offers yet another example of the importance that education plays in improving a country’s human capital. One thought that I had while contemplating this topic was what the world would look like with higher wages for teachers. I imagine taxes would have to increase, but the benefits that developing countries would reap as a result of a more driven and involved educator force are drastic. I also found it interesting that the article brought up lower birth rates from a contraceptive standpoint. I do not know why but whenever I imagined a country decreasing birth rates I immediately imagined policies similar to China’s child limit law. Giving the public increased access to birth controls, resulting in higher rates of education for women, seems like a no-brainer that less developed countries should invest more in. In addition, this theory supports the Solow model which illustrates just how decreased population growth can yield higher GDPs.

T. Nguyen

Reading and learning about the chaebols, family-run conglomerates, was eye opening. These businesses played important roles in the execution of industrialization to support economic development policies. The paper noted only two chaebols predated 1945, Hyundai and LG. This makes me want to learn further about the strategic business decisions they made that helped them to stay afloat during troubled times and also remain some of the most innovative and competitive tech companies during a bullish period. Can elements of these business plans and choices be extrapolated to apply in an economic development context? The paper alluded that foreign investments from the US was crucial to the rapid growth of South Korea's economy. I want to further understand the motives and reasonings behind the US' decision to support South Korea's recovery. What costs did the US incur, how did US citizens react to the decision, was there a bigger agenda? I'm not super versed with global economic trade, but I would love to learn more about the trade relationship between the US and South Korea. What was the relationship like during the '60s and how has the relationship evolved? Given the state of the economy now, and maybe within the next 10-20 years, realistically, are there countries able and willing to infuse that sum of cash to revive another country's economy. In theory, it would be amazing to see again in today's age of technology, but the magnitude of commitment and selflessness makes it difficult task for any high-income country to take on.

Tyler Smith

I enjoyed reading this article. One thing in particular that stood out to me is that the new military-led government was able to convert the pre-existing corruption into a tool for economic growth. Rather than completely ignore corrupt businessmen, "they began working closely with them to harness their entrepreneurial
skills." I've never thought about that being used as a potential strategy. Additionally, this paper gives the impression of economic growth being remarkably simple. Perhaps it is the historical nature of the paper itself, or the lack of economic theory mentioned, but it makes me wonder why these steps cannot be taken in other countries. Obviously it is not as easy as checking off boxes, and we've talked in class about the contextual element of economic development, but why have more countries not been able to recreate the success that South Korea has demonstrated? Another thing I wonder about is the United States' motivations for supporting South Korea, and did these motivations change over time? Initially, I would assume that the United States wanted to help establish a democratic nation state, but did it evolve into a trade relationship because of comparative advantages? Lastly, the paper does a good job highlighting, or at least informing, the difference between igniting economic growth and sustaining it. Obviously the ignition of growth came through a change in regimes and the initial five year plan, but South Korea has continually adopted and reinvigorated their policies over time, which is the major reason why they have maintained a positive growth rate.

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